Love is Ageless

Does anyone besides me think this story is a tragic case of the law butting in where it’s neither needed or wanted? I’ve seen stories about this couple from time to time over the years, and every time I’ve failed to see what is so wrong with their relationship; or why, in a society of 50% divorce rates, the law would be so concerned with keeping apart two people that are clearly more determined than most to stay together.

Granted, she broke up an existing marriage with four children over her affair. And that’s not good at all. But the damage is done. And affairs happen all the time without the participants being imprisoned. The age issue is a red herring. Historically 12-year-old boys have run family businesses, acted as heads of households, married, fathered children, gone to war, and taken lifelong vows. Only recently have we invented the “teenager” and all the fictions that go with that designation.

Society’s prudish ideas about propriety have brought enough misery into this couple’s life. Let them have a chance at a happy ending.

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  1. i completely concur.

    interesting that the catholic church also determines the “age of reason” as 7 years old.

    i don’t see what the issue is here at all.

  2. Society’s prudish ideas about propriety have brought enough misery into this couple’s life. Let them have a chance at a happy ending.

    i was expecting some alternative lifestyle couple or something, but the news article reports on a pedophile and the oedipal boy she slept with. society’s prudish ideas bringing misery into their lives?
    i’m speechless, man…

    1. So where do you draw the line?

      Am I Oedipal because I married a woman nine years older than me? Or is it OK because technically she’s just barely under old enough to be my mother?

      What makes a person a pedophile? The fact that they desire someone who is under an arbitrary society-set age? Or that they desire someone with the attributes of a child? If you read the background on this story it’s clear she fell in love with him because he looked and acted (in her eyes) old for his age, and wise beyond his years. And he was obviously sexually mature. So is she still a pedophile? Surely you realize that some 12-year-old boys can pass themselves off as 18. Is a 32-year-old woman who yearns for a handsome 18-year-old buck a pedophile?

      1. human beings are responsible for their actions. and she knew the boy to be in 6th grade. we’re not talking about meeting someone at the bar, having a one night stand, and learning the next morning she was 14, or even a more respectable pair falling for eachother to discover that the one is still very much a child – we’re talking about a very clear-cut case of pedophilia. (or does throwing the word “love” into the mix automatically cleanse any “philia” of moral consequence?) if there was really some magical spark present between the two of them, she should have waited. an old music teacher of mine married a student of his, but they had the moral scruples to wait until a reasonable age to start dating. this woman broke up a family. i have no respect for any of this.
        (and i hadn’t realized there was a second page to the article until i’d already made my comment – i still haven’t read it.)

        1. I don’t follow. It’s pedophilia as long as you know the person to be underage? It has nothing to do with being attracted to childish vs. adult looks snf mannerisms? I think the psychologists might disagree. Note I’m not talking about pederasty here, I’m talking about pedophilia.

          1. now we’re certainly in territory i don’t know. and i’m sure the psychologists are darn happy about a child’s teacher having an affair with him at 12 – very healthy.
            but i was responding to the suggestion that there’s nothing wrong with someone being attracted to an apparent 18 year old. it’s fine to be attracted to an apparent adult, but upon learning they’re *not* an adult, you’ve got to do the Right Thing [tm].

          2. I wasn’t debating whether it was right or wrong (although we could debate about that too, if you want). And I don’t understand your jab at psychologists at all. Most shrinks would probably think it quite unhealthy. I was specifically asking you why you called it pedophilia.

          3. i was being sarcastic, which really rather indicated that i don’t think having brought up psychologists in the first place was applicable to discussion. if they’ve got debates going about the differences between pedophilia and pederasty, i’m not aware of it.
            but i continue to call it pedophilia because i’ve always understood it to mean exactly what the dictionary says:
            The act or fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children.

      2. But when you married the woman who is nearly nine years your elder, you yourself were “of age” legally.

        It’s not like I was 21 and you were 12. You were 20 and I was 28.5.

        I’m with on this. I, too, saw a story about a pedophile and an Oedipal boy. Granted he’s now legally an adult and at this they really ought to be able to be reunited if they so choose.

        But look at all the poor choices that were made in the relationships inception. She was a teacher, with the highest responsibility of safeguarding her students physical and emotional wellbeing in and out of the classroom. He was a 6th or 7th grader who was smitten with his teacher, probably in the first flush of pubescent hormones.

        Regardless of whether 12 year old boys have run family businesses, become the head of house, or whatever does not make them older. It makes them, likely, fatherless (recall the story of my father who at age 10 lost his father to malaria and became “the man of the house” – he was still just a boy).

        The argument that in other cultures boys of only 12 years have married does not hold water in this culture.

        Consider, too, that 12 years old is only 3.5 years older than our own Joshua. How do you think you’d feel about this issue if it were Joshua’s 6th or 7th grade, 34 year old teacher who had had sex with him and bore his child. I, for one, wouldn’t stand for it!

        And if you’re sensing anger in this comment you are accurate. It does make me feel not a little uncomfortable that you would hold this opinion about a story that hits so close to home for me. I have to consider, in a case like this, “What if it were my own son?” I’d make sure that court order to lifelong separation held, and I would push to make sure she was not paroled.

        Not only that, but I would make sure my son got therapy right away.

        Pedophilia is a crime. And if I had my way, it would be punishable by death.

        1. I don’t think this was/is an entirely healthy situation. Nor do I think it was morally right for her to sleep with him. Regardless of how they felt, as a person in authority, and recognizing his immaturity (he may have appeared more mature than his age, but in this culture you can’t assume that means real, adult-level maturity), she should have waited if nothing else.

          Also, getting pregnant by him was stupid on various levels.

          But why keep them apart now? Against all odds, they still have feelings for each other. And since they have kids together, and she has no chance of being reunited with her previous children, why shouldn’t they make the best of a bad situation and salvage one family out of this mess?

          I’m not trying to say the whole thing was fine from beginning to end. My point is that the punishment is way out of proportion to the crime. And I’m a bit shocked to see you, as a libertarian, advocating keeping two mentally competent adults separated against their will. You may think their getting back together ill-advised, but what business is it of the state’s once they’ve reached the age of majority, and she’s served her time?

          1. Why reward them?

            And they kid doesn’t really know if his relationship with her was worth it (second page of article).

            Why shouldn’t they make the best of a bad situation? Consider the embarrassment. What will she do for her career since she likely won’t be permitted to teach again? What about the psychological damage already done to the children of their union? What about the embarrassment and psychological damage done to her ex-husband and her children with him?

            I don’t think the punishment was out of proportion with the crime. (As I mentioned before, if I had my way the punishment would have been much more severe.)

            Don’t pull the libertarian card on me in this case. This is one area where my experience, my morals, the core of my being screams out that she is being let off much too easily.

        2. To nitpick a bit, because you’re the second person to apparently make this mistake in this thread: Pedophilia, in general, is not a crime. Pederasty, actually acting on pedophiliac impulses, is a crime.

          1. Jayzus! Just get all technical on us, why don’t ya? You know what we’re talking about.

            Fuck! It’s bad enough you’ve hit a very tender nerve, don’tcha think?

  3. i have to agree with der-m here. historically, yes, very young people did much older things…course people didn’t live nearly as long. no matter what the reasons, a 12 yr old should in no way be involved with a 32 yr old. hell, a 12 yr old shouldn’t be involved with a 16 yr old. age plays a much smaller role the older we get, but that young…ur a kid. pure and simple.

    1. So are you saying that the fact that people didn’t live as long somehow made them mature faster?

      1. I think that would be the accurate way to look at it, Avdi.

        1. Then I would have to ask: why?

          We aren’t living longer because we are changing genetically. It’s because we have better medicine and better sanitation. So what about having a shorter life span makes someone mature faster?

  4. I’m going to weigh in on this from a couple of different angles.

    Angle the First: There’s no “somehow” involved; when you know you’re going to be dead at 50, you grow up quicker. 100 years ago, the average life expectancy in America was 50. Average age of marriage (for women) was 22. Assuming that birth is most likely to follow marriage back then, we arrive at a birth-age of 23-25.

    So you had children at 25, you saw them grow up, saw their children…then died. These days, a 50 year old is considered to be at the top of their income level and lifestyle, newly “freed” from child-raising–hardly the dodering ancient they once were.

    Angle the Second: Is a 12 year-old capable of falling in love? Are they capable of loving as an adult does and must, or committing to a relationship; particularly one with a married woman who has children?

    I’m going to say what no one has said yet–he does not love her. He loves an idea of her, but he could not have given her the support and comfort she’d have inevitably needed. He might’ve been sweet, and kind, and good, but could he have been a lifemate, or “equally yoked” in ANY sense?

    Not at 12. MAYBE at 21, yes. But not at 12. They each fell in love with a fantasy perception of the other, not the real person in the real day-to-day, dealing with REAL life shit.

    Angle the Third: True, there are other cultures where pedophilia has not been a crime; or has even been an accepted part of society, but we have little information on how this impacted the children involved. True, they do not seem to have grown up with the sense of guilt and shame Western society imparts (a partial legacy of Christianity, IMO, and one of its most devastasting failures to address), but that does not mean they did not grow up abusive.

    Another difference is a fundamental change in how we VIEW childhood. Hundreds of years ago, a child was viewed as simply a small adult. Once out of infancy, they were expected to ACT as adults from what we’d consider a very young age. The concept of childhood as a social and psychological development stage simply did not exist. Maybe that’s why those of us who deeply feel we had no childhood at all sometimes see things so differently; or yearn for one to this day.

    Angle the Fourth: Regardless of whether or not it was wrong in general, it was VERY wrong in this particular for her to use her position as she did. She is a woman entrusted with the care of children and does not have the right or the luxury to fall in love with them and abuse the situation in that way. There are reasons why (even in college) students are not allowed to date their current or future professors; why ministers should not date parishoners they council, and why children most definitely should NOT date teachers.

    Angle the Fifth Love, though a wonderful thing, is not the highest goal of society or morals. Nor should it be.

    1. Careful, he’ll pick up on “pedophilia is a crime” and zap you with “Pedophilia, in general, is not a crime. Pederasty, actually acting on pedophiliac impulses, is a crime.”

      1. And he’s right. So shift my statements to reflect the action.

    2. The first I’m willing to believe.

      The second I simply disagree with you on.

      On the third: I had little childhood, and I sometimes envy the lazy fucks who got to be irresponsible and carefree for 18+ years before having to buckle down to reality. But I envy them in the same way I envy kids who were born rich. Sure, it would have been nice, but it’s a luxury, not a right.

      The fourth I agree with completely.

      The fifth seems irrelevent to me.

      1. Oddly, I don’t see how you can possibly disagree with the second. How is a 12 year old possibly capable of dealing with the rigors and responsibilities of adult life in our current social contexts? This is not a child plucked wholesale from the 19th century, this is a 6th grade boy who, up until having sex with this woman, was almost certainly facing such rigors as “How to pass the sixth level of Mario Bro’s”.

        I’m not saying that a twelve-year-old is incapable of being an adult because of an inherent limitation, but that’s not the same as saying this one WAS.

        1. I’m not saying this one was either. I read your comment as saying no 12-year-old is capable of such love.

          1. Inherently capable, or capable of such in our current society? I would state that the only 12 year old capable of such is going to be one indoctrinated / living in a society VERY different than ours.

  5. With the emotional kneejerk reaction aside, I offer this,

    Does anyone besides me think this story is a tragic case of the law butting in where it’s neither needed or wanted?

    Yes. At this point I would agree that it seems the law is butting in where it is not needed.

    I’ve seen stories about this couple from time to time over the years, and every time I’ve failed to see what is so wrong with their relationship

    This led me, originally, to believe that you did not see anything at all wrong with their relationship. At all. Do you see anything wrong with how their relationship began?

    Historically 12-year-old boys have run family businesses, acted as heads of households, married, fathered children, gone to war, and taken lifelong vows. Only recently have we invented the “teenager” and all the fictions that go with that designation.

    This is totally irrelevant to the situation on the whole.

    Society’s prudish ideas about propriety have brought enough misery into this couple’s life. Let them have a chance at a happy ending.

    Regardless whether society’s ideas are prudish is beside the point. They’re unlikely to have a happy ending no matter what the legal outcome.

  6. I suppose if I was the judge hearing his plea to lift the legal injunction barring them from seeing each other, I would :

    Consider statements on the proposal given by the victim and the perpetrator of the crime. I would likely hear testimony from an expert witness on what unhealthy situations might be manifest in such a request, and conditional on mandatory counseling sessions for a specific period of time, grant the request, subject to further review at the end of said time limit for mandatory counseling.

    If there are no problems, there is no more reason for the state to be involved, but the state does have an interest in protecting the victim from further exploitation.

  7. I already replied at length in your other entry so I’ll be brief. This isn’t about “prudish laws”. This woman is extremely sick, and abused her position as an adult and a teacher with a low IQ 12 year old boy and forced him into fatherhood. She got away with a very mild sentence and should just be glad for that and stay the hell away from him. The countries who would accept such a situation have a ton of other moral codes you’d reject in a heartbeat as cruel, sexist, racist, etc. Don;t let your desire to feel sexually enlightened and liberated convince you there’s no abuse here.

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